tv QA with Chris Cavas CSPAN May 8, 2017 5:57am-7:01am EDT
there's some a not to be prisoners of history, but to shape history, a responsibility to fill the role of pathfinder. to your compass of values, fate, honesty, loyalty, patriotism, and generosity. just a few past commencement speeches from the c-span video library. watch commencement speeches by politicians, leaders, and white , may officials on may 20 29, memorial day, on our website. >> coming ♪
announcer: this week on "q&a," defense news naval warfare correspondent chris cavas talks about the navy's "fat leonard" bribing scandal, with more than two dozen navy officials including several admirals. brian: chris cavas, let me start by asking you what you do for a living. chris: i am a journalist. i cover naval affairs, things that are on, over, and above the water. i like to cover them worldwide. i like to talk about the industry that builds these things, the people who operate them, who buy them, the operations they do, and why does anybody need all this stuff and does any have it really work?
and i've write about stuff like that. brian: who reads it? chris: the industry, the hill, politicians. defense news is a worldwide publication. we are sometimes remarkably well-known. people in the naval industry around the world pay attention to us. senior officers pay attention to us, senior acquisition officers. brian: how big is the brian: how big is the publication and who owns it? chris: i cannot even tell you because i am not up on the latest stats. we are owned by a company called cycling media, the media group site line media, that includes army times, navy times, air force times, about people in the service. it is not about them really, but it is about things that affect their lives. there is a division called history and that the talks about things that are old. brian: i want to show you some video from a company called glenn marine group asia.
it is just a minute, a promo from them, and ask you to explain how they fit in right now. [begin video clip] narrator: headquartered in singapore, the glenn marine group is a premier integrated maritime service provider. it has its own proprietary blend of assets. its scale of operations spans 54 million square miles, represented by a global network of nine regional offices that have operated in more than 32 countries. ♪
narrator: the glenn marine group's flagship company is asia-pacific's leading brands in naval fleet support. its services extend well beyond pier-side. as an integrated, one-stop center for all of the navy needs, glenn defense asia is able to provide a wide range of customized solutions. [end video clip] brian: why does this company matter, a singapore-based company, matter to the united states navy? chris: when ships travel from port to port, a ship is a self-contained entity. it takes care of itself. when it goes into port it needs a number of support services. it starts with, i need a pilot to meet me at a certain location at a certain time. i probably need tugs to escort me, a place to drop the hook, tie up. i need someone to be there so i can get on and off my ship. i need to have somebody arrange to get shore power if i need it, food and water if i want it. even then i may want somebody to
have some taxis and phones available, and i want a reception and i need some catering services. so, there are companies called husbanding agents. husbanding, like husband and wife. it is a very old term. it is nothing new, a classic maritime term. so worldwide, ports have husbanding companies, have husbanding agents, and we need those services so we are a global navy. the united states navy travels all over the world. everywhere we go we need someone to take care of the services so we need to bid out on the services. and get somebody to do that for us. it is key to being able to operate in a certain area, to do rest and relaxation in a certain area.
without it, you cannot do it. brian: let me ask you in a different way. what has that company done to the navy? chris: for one thing, it has completely embarrassed the united states navy, shocked the culture of the navy that people were corrupted to provide glenn defense marine mostly with information about ship movements, but other things as well, in exchange for not that much money but fairly lavish lifestyles. so they threw fabulous parties, had great dinners, provided prostitutes for a lot of people, really expensive gifts for their wives, paid for family vacations. we are talking on the order of $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 for a weekend, some of their parties. i mean, dinner could cost $20,000 to $30,000 for six people. brian: let me read you a summary of what has happened until now.
this is what is known, investigators have said that more than 200 people have come under scrutiny. among them are eight newly indicted navy officials including an admiral, 13 people who have pleaded guilty, six others who have been charged, four admirals who have been disciplined, two others known to be under investigation, and 150 others not identified. chris: glenn defense marine was one of the most sophisticated operations like this in the western pacific. they had operations throughout the western pacific. anybody in the western pacific at any time who made a port call, which was everybody, had some contact with something that was glenn defense marine whether they knew it or not. so there are many levels of people who are involved with this. some people had virtually no involvement other than they were there. some were more deeply involved. there was certainly criminal
behavior, people who broke their oaths. broke him the confidence that was around them. they were passing information and had inappropriate relations. the people who did this are by and large, remarkably capable people. they are professionally respected. a lot of these people were widely known for their professional accomplishments, not because of before they were arrested. some of these people have a lot of respect from a lot of people. they were not dumb people. but they clearly were doing some dumb things and what is interesting, they did not make that much money for it. this was not like, people were not making a few hundred thousand dollars here. nobody made a million dollars.
they were selling their careers for fairly short. that surprises people. people are surprised that so many people could be compromised like this. but glenn defense marine wanted information. so they wanted to know where ships were going to be. they could prepare for it. they had certain ports where they have a lot of power. we own a lot of the concessions in this port, we do not own a lot of concessions in that port. going to thate port. you not go there, can you come here? they would approach key officers, for the most part, like on the planning staff. the u.s. fleet in the western pacific based in japan, they would approach operations officers, planning officers, protocol officers worried about where are we going to go.
for example, the navy pays a great deal of attention to r&r. we have lots of ships that go to the middle east. four to five months in the persian gulf is not a party time. particularly if we have ships full of young 20-year-olds who want to have a good time, and they really do work hard. there's not a lot of opportunity to blow off steam in the mideast. there is some, it is not barren. but it is not like some other parts of the world so when ships are in transit, coming and going to the united states and passing through the pacific, that might be the best part, the best opportunity that the navy has to give the crew of that aircraft carrier a well-deserved break. >> let me put on the screen a fellow who calls himself -- i do not know why he calls himself this -- a fellow called fat leonard. and how does he impact
this? chris: he was a larger-than-life guy. he was close to 400 pounds at one point. he was a big, fat guy. leonard." extremely gregarious and outgoing. he is the classic host. we are here to have a good time, great to see you, i have arranged all of this. come into this room, see what we have for you. he would ingratiate himself with everybody. he was a classic manipulator. he would go out of his way to be seen with anybody of any importance. he would have photographers there to take pictures with any significant person at any social event. here is fat leonard, great to see you, admiral. and oh, here's the
photographer, let's smile. brian: we have an example of former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff mike molen with fat leonard. did he know who he was? chris: everybody knew that he was fat leonard and he ran glenn defense marina. did they know this corruption was going on and so much was happening in the background? it does not appear that was the case at all. for every one of these pictures, frankly as a newspaper, i am reluctant sometimes to run these pictures because there is hundreds of these pictures. you can find -- one of the first pictures that came out was one with the cno just after mike molen, gary roughhand. it is a gladhanding thing. everybody's had these pictures taken.
they did not necessarily have to be doing anything. brian: where is fat leonard today? chris: in jail in san diego, california. he was arrested in 2013, lured to the united states. it was a -- the investigation going on right now is spearheaded by the department of justice, ncis investigation. leonard, i think he is a resident of singapore. he wasn't born there, but -- brian: he's malaysian. chris: malaysian. he was lured to the united states to close a business deal so they got him in the u.s. with u.s. jurisdiction and he was arrested. he has pled guilty. he has not been sentenced. he pled guilty in 2015. sentenced, he is not the only one who has not
been sentenced who has pled guilty, so the prosecution is over but they have not adjudicated. the supposition there -- and this is just a supposition because justice will not confirm this -- is that he is still providing information to the investigation, and they are waiting to see -- -- to see how far that goes. brian: how many former navy officials are in prison? chris: in prison, i am not sure right now. there have been 25 charged total. almost half of them are now in prison one way or another. they've been sentenced. brian: let me go back to 2015, march 2015 just to put an official touch on this. this is the former secretary of the navy who used to be the governor of mississippi talking at a hearing on capitol hill. [begin video clip] >> the reason this was uncovered is that we set up financial tripwires that glenn defense marine asia, gdma, went across. so red flags were raised. ncis investigated this for three
years with no leaks. during that investigation we found an ncis agent was furnishing mr. francis with information, that they set up false information to him. and it led to mr. francis believing that the investigation had been shut down. it allowed us to arrest him on american soil. [end video clip] brian: how well did he handle this? chris: i am not sure. he is the kind of person people criticize heavily or they do not criticize heavily. there is not much of a middle ground. frankly, i am not sure what else he could have done and i think this was done pretty well. this investigation began in 2010.
the agent that was being referred to was something that leonard was always, part of his modus operandi of getting moles in different places was letting probing inwarn of operations. they gave him permission to work it out. when the arrests were made, the navy moved with some alacrity to suspend operations with glenn defense marine. the secretary of war instigated an audit of all of their practices, all of their contracting practices, and an audit not just to look for inappropriate money going to glenn defense marine but also
weaknesses in contracting that would allow these excesses and abuses to work their way in. it was an organizational approach to it, it was not just an effort to grab people on this particular gdma issue. there was another husbanding company which also was sued by the navy around this time period for what the navy viewed as excesses. not nearly on the scale that gdma was at. the navy set it up -- brian: consolidated disposition authority, what in the world is that? chris: the idea is that justice runs its own investigation, and justice is looking for criminal activity. justice is not about ethics, it is about criminal behavior.
if they have people, they investigated somebody, if they find no criminal behavior and nothing they can charge anybody with, they are done with that person. they then turn that investigation over to the navy run consolidated disposition authority, consolidated in the sense that there are different entities within the navy that could be investigating this. why have all of these different units? we will do it one effort consolidated. so the navy runs its own investigation on these people looking for ethics violations. right, you did not break the letter of the law but certainly broke the standards of behavior that you were sworn to and that we expect people to adhere to. that has turned into its own, that has taken on a life of its own. that has had a major effect on the navy, particularly the officer corps. it continues to have a major effect and has no end in sight. people cannot find out what they
investigated for. you cannot confront your accuser. it has become a pernicious investigation affecting hundreds of people and there is no way to quantify it. i personally know a surprising number of people who appear to be under investigation. are you still under investigation by justice or has justice turned that over to the cda? it's hard to tell. brian: let me put a face to this. it might be a little tedious for people watching, but it puts a depth to understand to this. here is a rear admiral, status, pleaded guilty june 2016 to making a false official statement. criminal sentence pending, reduced in rank to captain and retired from active duty. he was an admiral.
how bad is this? chris: from the criminal investigation, there have been admirals caught up in this but they are not charged with behavior as an admiral. so people are promoted. so the behavior, and actually, if i am recalling correctly, they did not charge him with any actual conduct with gdma. toy got him with "lying investigators." i think he has some personal issues, i don't know what they'll do with him. brian: let's continue. captain daniel dusek. brian: he is in prison. brian: former of the uss bonner richard. there he is on the screen. he is a captain, and why is he in prison? chris: he was in the middle of all of this and was part and parcel of some of the worst behavior.
he guided ships to ports that were controlled by glenn defense marine. he provided classified information on ship movements. the classified information that is always referred to, as far as i'm aware of, in almost every case is about ship movements, planned the ship movements in advance. it is not necessarily unusual that we would share such information with a foreign commercial company or partner, but none of this was done through any official channels. this was all just stuff feeding to them. dusek was right in the middle of them and for a while he enjoyed a pretty good lifestyle. he was routinely at some
wonderful, fabulous restaurants, great hotels, big time parties, lots of very expensive booze and very expensive cigars and lots of very expensive prostitutes. brian: all paid for by? chris: all paid for by glenn defense marine. he had contact with fat leonard. brian: i am going to bring up another fellow, because this story, it is a hard one. the fellow from a little town in illinois. he was born in cambodia, brought over to this country by a woman in the u.s. army, raised in this country, and what happened to him? chris: this photo, that is a really sad photo.
at the time of this photo he was the commanding officer of the destroyer that made a port call to cambodia, the first official u.s. navy visit to cambodia since 1975 and he was the commanding officer. these were actually family members that came to meet him. this was a terribly touching moment. he was a -- i mean, i know, i have actually, i know people who served with him. i actually interviewed him extensively. he was a very well thought of officer. people were stunned when they found out he was caught up with this. but he is a good example of the kind of targeted individual that gdma would go after. so most of these people did not start off -- there are some exceptions but most of the exceptions were in the very first wave of arrests. in 2013. so, the people who were
complicit in these ongoing operations were by-and-large targeted in one way or another. brian: where is he now? chris: in prison for 76 months. i believe he is the longest, he has got the longest prison sentence so far which is somewhat surprising. brian: i think one of them got 12 years. i want to show you some video of when he went back to linn arce, illinois, spoke to his high school. it was a heroes welcome. just listen to what he had to say. [begin video clip]
>> thank god we have the best --[indiscernible] >> this reminds me of [indiscernible] it is ok to be a happy sheep. [indiscernible] sheepdogs to keep watch, and we will take action to keep the world safe. [end video clip] brian: after he was convicted and sent to prison, when was the last time you talked to him? chris: just a few days before he reported to federal prison. brian: what was his attitude? chris: he has accepted it. i think he is more resentful. he thinks he was really stupid.
he is still rationalizing a good bit of it. he is upset that he thinks other people were worse than he was and do not seem to have gotten punished as much as he has. he said there is still lots of people out there who have yet to be arrested. brian: one of the pictures during the trial was him with i think a bunch of japanese women, i am not sure. you can see it on the screen. how important was this whole thing, sexual favors in this process? chris: it was a regular feature of the kind of services that leonard would provide to people who provided him information. in this case, he was approached by somebody who was already compromised. they would discuss with leonard, leonard was always asking people, find me a good candidate. is this guy approachable? will he play ball with us?
do you think he will? weaknesses? will he work with us? has he got money problems? has he got romantic problems, relationship problems? at this time he was actually having relationship problems with his wife. brian: what happened eventually? chris: he was divorced. his marriage wasn't going well. this is the sort of thing they would do. suddenly he is at a party. suddenly there is companionship and suddenly we are having a good time. and he was susceptible to it. and the thing was that they would routinely approach people in all manner of ways. people were constantly being put in compromising positions. this is a great photograph, sort of the ultimate of where this is all going, but it did not take much. everybody came into contact with him. it was hard for officers to do a western pacific port call --
brian: we have a map, by the way, to show that part of the world. when you talk about the seventh fleet, it is not the entire that a great deal of it. chris: everything you see there is the seventh fleet. brian: how many ships? chris: not that many. there is the seventh fleet and the seventh fleet area of operations, aor. the seventh fleet is based in japan. it's home-ported in japan. it is an aircraft carrier, a couple of cruisers and some destroyers, and they are based in japan at a gdma port. the flagship blue ridge routinely makes, they do 2, 3-month patrols a year and
go from port to port to port. the pacific is all about bilateral relationships, so there is no nato in the pacific. it is very important for the commander of the pacific fleet and the seventh fleet to constantly be going around to these different countries and keeping relationships going with their counterparts in those countries, so they routinely make these port calls, every one of which was an opportunity for gdma. that is the seventh fleet, they lived there. everybody that goes there falls under seventh fleet jurisdiction and they would pull into all these ports. san diego-based ships, pearl harbor-based ships routinely deploying to the central command operations area in the middle east, the persian gulf, the red sea. they have to pass through this area. brian: let me read some more. former special agent, naval
criminal investigative service, downloaded and leaked scores of ncis reports about pending criminal investigations into glenn defense. status, he pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery, punishment, 12 years in prison. chris: i'm sorry, right. ok. brian: bribes taken, cash, laptop computer, airfare, a prostitute from the philippines, three-week five country vacation in southeast asia. he was ncis. chris: he was the agent referred to by secretary mavis. brian: how often does this happen? chris: it doesn't. mole. kind of a classic
brian: i would like to ask you that. how long have you covered the navy? chris: i'm well into my second decade doing it. brian: put this whole thing into perspective. chris: so, there is this criminal investigation, and there is an ethics investigation. the ethics investigation is falling directly out of the criminal investigation, but this is probably the widest and deepest ethics investigation in the history of the u.s. navy. the criminal behavior aside, so i mean part of this is you have to -- there is a criminal investigation that is certainly getting people for doing things they should not have done. they broke the law. there's no question about it. there's no question this was bad behavior.
brian: i want to read another one, just so people can understand the scope of all this. a guy named paul simpkins, former navy contracting supervisor based in singapore, that is where the company was, rigged navy contracts in thailand for glenn defense in exchange for$350,000 in bribes and prostitutes. acted as a secret fixer for the firm. his punishment was december 2016 to six years in prison plus $450,000 in fines and restitution. here's what i found when i went beyond what was reported. he wanted fat leonard to provide him "some clean, disease-free women" when he got into port in singapore. have you sat through any of these trials? chris: no, i have not. they are all in san diego. brian: how typical is this in the navy?
i mean, over the years, without being a pollyanna-ish about it? maybe i shouldn't ask it this way, but -- chris: typical demanding of the guy who you are working for illegally, of what kind of favors you want. brian: i'm going to go another route. typical of the navy that when they end up in port that there are prostitutes, how big a deal has that been over the years? chris: you mean in every port? a sailor has somebody in every port? i think it's a fact of life. i think it's unavoidable. i think it's unavoidable to go to a high-end hotel and not have someone. i was at a hotel in singapore a year ago watching guys come in, clearly with someone of the night, and the hotel are very good at looking the other way.
brian: and that's not as unusual as having somebody like fat leonard paying for a prostitute? i mean having it set up? chris: you just had to order it out. you can just say, "i hope we have some entertainment, can you send pictures of the entertainment? we are eager to see pictures." brian: here's another one. the former director of intelligence operations of the u.s. navy and intelligence chief of the seventh fleet, arrested in california march 2017 and charged with conspiracy, bribery, and making false statements. his case is pending. he has pleaded not guilty. chris: he was just charged. he's one of the nine who are just charged. brian: did you know him? chris: i have not met him, no. brian: when will his trial be held if he doesn't plea out? chris: i have no idea. brian: i'm getting at, how long has this process taken? chris: most of these folks have not had to try -- they haven't had to try to many of them.
misiewicz wanted to plead not guilty, he wanted to plead his case. then he was convinced to accept the reality that they were going to get him anyway. brian: here's the former commanding officer of the uss george washington and uss blue ridge. chris: that's a flagship. brian: allegedly steered warships to ports controlled by glenn defense and sought to undermine his competitors. arrested in florida in march and charged with conspiracy, bribery, and charged -- his status, case, and plea is pending. bribes allegedly taken for prostitution and travel. commander stephen shedd, former commanding officer, and planning officer for the seventh fleet, allegedly leaked classified information about ship
movements to francis, arrested in colorado and charged with conspiracy and bribery. case is still pending. i can go on. chris: he is somewhat interesting. he was a junior officer. as a lieutenant commander, he was on the staff of the seventh fleet, and provided a great amount of information, ship movements, to gdma. then his tour came to an end and he was transferred out. he went to tennessee. but he missed the lifestyle. he was new personnel in tennessee and managed to wrangle a return to the seventh fleet and the lifestyle. he came and went, and the attractiveness of the lifestyle that leonard provided these folks was like a drug. in they couldn't do without it. it was a lot of fun. they would go off and be straight for a little while, and then it's time for a party.
if they gave good information, they expected a good party. a lot of it was based on port calls of ships. the blue ridge, the flagship, francis was always going for operations people. on the staff of the seventh fleet who could guide the ships. brian: francis is fat leonard? chris: fat leonard. he emailed -- these people had direct communications with fat leonard. in many cases, it was not through intermediary. it was a group of them. brian: how much money did fat leonard get out of this? chris: millions and millions. glenn defense marine asia routinely charged a lot of money.
they were a high-end husbanding agency, one of the most comprehensive. anything you want you could get from gdma. just say it. we will find a way to get it. but you did pay for it. there was a premium. this did not escape a lot of people. there were some investigations. there was one in 2006 that didn't go anywhere. he wanted to know about investigations, and he would put pressure on senior people that he compromised to intern put -- to in turn put pressure on them to make the investigations go away. he would reach out. he would say, "can you make this go away?" brian: you mentioned there was an investigation in 2006. i want to put it in "the mix" because it's a very local story in san diego. on the local pbs station they had a roundtable in 2015.
there were a couple of things said by laura wingard, who works for the station, and the person who wrote stories for the "san diego tribune." [begin video clip] laura: one of the things that's astonishing about this is in 2006 they had a whistleblower and they didn't act on it. there was a good soldier who said, "hey, these charges are way out of line," in the navy ignored it. i think it speaks to the culture of how things are going there. it's astonishing they did not act. >> it is a larger story how the navy administers and overseas what becomes an expanded program of contracting out to private companies, services and things that the service is used to handle themselves. in this case, in particular it is a big issue. it was not just the one person in 2006. there are other indications in the record that people were raising their hands. minute.hey wait a ridiculous.
they just couldn't get traction. [end video clip] brian: how much did you know about the whistleblower in 2006? when did we first know about the whistleblower? chris: i didn't hear about it until it broke in 2013. brian: so that kind of thing doesn't become public. chris: it just means i didn't do it. not necessarily. criminal behavior is not the primary focus of what i do. brian: defense news reporting to the business, to the navy, to the defense department, to the contractors and all that. while we're at it, let's show you what admiral richardson, chief of naval operations, this was craig whitlock, who has not been spotlighted. here's him in 2016 in may asking the chief of the of operations what he thinks. [begin video clip] >> within the navy, how is this case being felt?
what kind of damage is it causing? what sort of reaction is it causing among the officers who don't engage in that kind of the behavior but are seeing a pattern of a problem out there? >> i think you have categorized it well. it's in progress, so we can only talk about it to a certain degree. number two, the vast majority of our leaders, both in uniform and civilian force, are behaving exactly consistent with that trust and confidence the american people have enough. for that small minority involved in this type of behavior, behavior that nobody can be proud of, we have to let the investigation complete and we will respond to the information in a way that will maintain that trust and confidence. [end video clip] brian: what did you think of his answer, and have they responded? chris: you are touching on a number of things pretty fast. let's just say right away, that guy you just saw, admiral john richardson, chief of naval operations, that is the reason
that title is attached to that guy, because of the fat leonard gdma investigation. otherwise, he would have an entirely different job, the head of naval nuclear reactors, which is what he was groomed for. the whole backend of his career. it is a dual headed job. it has an energy department function as well. it oversees all nuclear reactors. equipment. it is a unique job. it is a six year term. it is a sunset term. in other words, that's it, you retire after that. it's the only six-year term in the navy. it's unique. richardson was already nr when this broke publicly.
the navy set up its consolidated disposition authority that was put under nr, john richardson. richardson, in many people's viewpoints, was one of the most ethical people in the navy. you don't get to be a "nuke" by definition is a person who follows the rules. the head nuke, nr, it's a pretty imposing position. brian: he was put into this position because of this? chris: he was nr. they were already investigating test cheating scandals in the submarine service. the navy felt it had confidence in him. he was the chief adjudicator of the cda. the ethics part of this investigation, the post criminal
investigation, now navy ethics probe, was richardson's bailiwick. when the last cno was retiring, some of the more highly thought of prospective reliefs for this position could potentially come under the fat leonard investigation. apparently, because you can't confirm any -- there's no statement issued that so and so was in an investigation and you found nothing. nobody gets a clean bill of health. the only time you really find out is if they caught you. everything is assumed or it appears so, more people heard this. you talked about mike mullen, chief of naval operations, and left to become chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. he was a big pacific admiral. he had to have run into fat leonard, he had to have his
picture taken with fat leonard, because everybody had their picture taken with fat leonard. gary who came after him was in the same position. everybody had ties, even if it was just that they had their picture taken with him at a party. there was the potential that you named somebody, and he would come under investigation, and embarrass the navy again. answerver had a straight greenert was under investigation. i have asked many times. richardson was seen as -- in some ways as a clean
alternative. so the navy took the unprecedented move of taking him out of nr, the head of naval nuclear reactors, he's in charge of this very, very serious engineering position that is very specific, he was taken out of that and became chief of naval operations. in many ways, that's a piece of fallout from gdma right there. without this investigation, he probably would still be nr. brian: let me drop back 23 years. show you some video of a former chief of naval operations. calzo.name of frank i want to run this, because this is another time in navy's past that was not so stellar. [begin video clip] >> i think the greatest lesson we havefrom tailhook is to be more attentive to our house and what we do and how we act so we can prevent something like this from happening. i greatly regret i did not have
the foresight to be able to see the actions could occur. in hindsight, i clearly concede that. we need to work harder to be able to understand the changes taking place and deal with it at an earlier time than to let us get into a case like tailhook, where we have a difficult problem. as you know, this is very difficult. i think this is the end of tailhook. [end video clip] brian: he had to leave as the chief of naval operations a couple months early because of this. did the navy learn anything back then? chris: the navy learned a lot, but some people don't learn anything. that's true throughout society and still true today. there are tone-deaf people everywhere. brian: but there were 100 people in the navy involved in this. chris: so tailhook, the tailhook association is the professional association of naval aviators. once a year they have a gathering in nevada, the tailhook convention.
they talk about airplanes. they talk about flight operations. they also have a lot of drinks and a lot of fun. and they have a lot of good times. that was a tradition at tailhook. a lot of that behavior involved sexual behavior with women. a lot of people would consider that sexual assault. a lot of people could be charged with sexual assault. it's criminal behavior, not just unethical. not just mores. this was a routine feature of these conventions. in 1991, they went too far. somebody may charges. -- somebody made charges. it came out this was going on. it was a major scandal. you are trying to change behavior, but it affected everybody. the navy investigation went way beyond the aviation community.
people had to sign a paper that said you weren't there. anybody who was there was under great investigation. a lot of people resigned. a lot of people were found guilty of various levels of bad behavior. it was a really deeply cathartic -- that's not the right word -- traumatic event inside the navy culture. definitely inside navy aviation, andwithin the navy itself how you treated women. were women sexual objects, or are they your professional peers? this investigation went on for a great many years. clearly the way the aviators were treating women at the tail hook was not as professional peers. this investigation went on for four or five years within the navy. a great many people were caught up with it.
a great many people were kicked out. eventually, the end, as has happened throughout society, at some point a previously accepted behavior has become unacceptable. we are not going to do this anymore. 20 years ago, it was routine. you would hope nobody would think of doing these things today, but some people get the message, and some people don't. as with racism, as with discrimination of any kind, discrimination against religions, sexual discrimination, sexual orientation, the mores change. the things you used to do, you don't anymore. that message there, especially when the cno is forced to resign, this is no longer acceptable. you make examples of people. you try to stamp out.
there's no question that abuses against women have not been stamped out in the u.s. navy. they have not been stamped out anywhere. brian: for people listening, if they want to get a capsule of how many people have been indicted, wikipedia has a website that has them all listed. most of the information comes from craig whitlock and the washington post. it is called the fat leonard scandal site. i want to read off of that. i want to ask you about this. the last page, i counted 31 people involved in some way or another. chris: this is the criminal side. brian: not entirely. rear admiral adrian jansen, nonjudicial punishment by the navy, and retirement pending. vice admiral michael h miller. disciplined by the navy, received censure. retired in august 2015. rear admiral terry kraft.
disciplined by the navy, received center infantry 2015 and was forced into retirement. chris: this is nonjudicial. brian: rear admiral david pimpo. they tell you what they have done wrong. but how often in the history of the navy -- you said this is maybe the worst ethics -- this many admirals had to step down? had to leave. chris: you sort of have to ask the question, how prevalent is this behavior anywhere? this happens to be the navy under investigation. nobody's looking at the army and nobody's looking at the air force, nobody's looking at the marines. they have their own issues right now with naked pictures online. if there's an investigation that starts to turn bad behavior, this is a navy centric investigation. i don't know that anyone else has this level of investigation.
brian: for somebody that has tuned into this discussion late, please again go over what it is. by the way, is the company still in business and does the navy still do business with it? chris: the company is still in business. the navy stopped doing business with them before 2013 was over. is --f the thing here like the promotional video at the top of the show. they featured all u.s. navy ships in that, because the u.s. navy is by far the most valuable customer you could have. but they by no means are confined to the u.s. navy. virtually every navy that is out there and goes there operates out there and deals with glenn defense marine asia. that's the japanese, the british, everybody. they deal with cruise ships -- a huge business with cruise ships. brian: which they could easily pay off without criminal activity.
chris: they have cruise ship terminals. it's an incredible sophisticated operation. every ship out there, it is very enormous, very sophisticated. the u.s. navy happened to be a great customer. brian: let me simplify it for people who don't know how the navy operates. if i were in the navy connected with the seventh fleet, i would pick up the phone and tell fat leonard's company we are going to go a certain place, and we are going to do business with you. or better than that, the glenn marine defense says you go here instead of here, because we are ready to serve you. and the payoff comes for me, in terms of vacations and hotel rooms. chris: so the cambodian fellow you showed was an excellent example. he was a deputy operations officer in the seventh fleet. leonard had an operation going in malaysia, the part of malaysia on the northwest coast of borneo. it is on the south china sea.
e probably heard sea now, it china has become a rather strategic area. it's a big place. not small. that was a port directly on the south china sea. there was a carrier going to a port of call. they were going to go to singapore. in that, leonard said he was beefing up the whole operation. it's a great place, it will be a great place for liberty, and we have all the concessions. can you do that? misiewicz did do that. he managed to change the port call from that carrier. i think it was the carl vincent. brian: how could he have that much power? chris: you lobby for it. you have meetings. what is the best port? you are a ways from singapore. they had better beaches out here, whatever.
he managed to sell it, they said ok. it's not the first time the u.s. navy was going there, but it was the first time in aircraft carrier went there. 5000 people were going to have a good time. a lot of money, a lot of hotels, a lot of fun. they went to the port. they did a weekend. everybody was happy. had a great time. misiewicz got a letter of commendation for making that happen. we would never have thought of this without you. it worked out. i forget what year it was, but he got a letter of commendation, and he was actually cited for it when he left the position. now, glenn defense marine made more than $2 million on that port call. so when a ship could come in, you are talking about a lot of money that would come your way for taking care of all of these services. onboard, waste,
all that. chris: husbanding services. they made more than $2 million on that. they were paid more than $2 million for that port call. a similar port call to singapore would have been much less than half. so, it cost a lot more. misiewicz rationalized it, and the navy rationalized it by saying we have opened a new strategic port on the south china sea, and the ongoing and continuing relationship with china, that is something significant. we are not just confined to singapore. that was viewed as a real accomplishment. we paid for it. we paid a lot of money for it. now, people were always questioning glenn defense marine expenditure bills. lots of people questioned why we are paying that much. it was a culture within the navy that said, "don't worry about it. it's not your job." the ship, before you leave, the last hour before you shove off,
you are signing a lot of papers and closing accounts. you have agents onboard, they say they will charge for this, and if you ask what is this for? for example, the brow. you walk up and down. sometimes the u.s. navy owns those. we leave them there because we come into it all the time. why rent one? we just have one, we will stick it over here and use it. and we would, we owned the brow, it said "u.s. navy" on it. glenn defense marine would charge $10,000, $20,000, $80,000 for the use of a brow. instead of the supply officer signing for this, why are we doing that? we own it. it's ours. it says u.s. navy on it. it does not say gdma. they were told, don't worry
about it, we will sign for it. you are on a ship. you are supply officer. you have nothing to do with making these arrangements. you are set up with people at the local level. you are just a ship coming in here and using the services, but you didn't arrange for this. you are not an agent. you don't necessarily deal with the agents. but you are the supply officer, executive officer, you have to sign for it. it's half an hour before i shove off, i have to be out of here. we are leaving at 10:00. i'm signing these papers, i ask what it's for, somebody says "don't worry about it, it's taken care of at fleet level." now you are under investigation, is this your signature? did you sign for that? why did you pursue this further? brian: there's a lot more we could talk about. we're out of time. chris cavas of "defense news," a reporter for that organization talking about the navy and the fat leonard case. thank you so much.
♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at qanda.org. "q&a" is also available as c-span podcasts. ♪ >> if you liked this "q&a," program with chris cavas, here are some that you might enjoy. admiral michelle howard on being the first female admiral in the navy.
there's also being navy secretary during the obama administration. and retired navy commander kirk lippold talking about his uss colee on the when it was attacked by al qaeda. you can see those at c-span.org. a full life,nce when think he will have to do is this. .ive a large life >> free to imagine a hand experience what it means to be human. we have a responsibility in our time as others have had in there's not to be prisoners of history but to shape history. a responsibility to fill the
role of pathfinder. >> holding fast to your compass of values. faith, honesty, loyalty, generosity, patriotism. announcer: just a few commencement speeches from the c-span video library. year,them on may 20 this may 29, memorial day, and june 3 on c-span and c-span.org. >> washington journal is next. summit inernoon, ei league washington. and then the fourth circuit court of appeals in virginia as they hear argument on president trump's revised travel ban. coming up on washington journal, we discussed the oral argument on the travel ban with stephen then richard weitz.
and the cost associated with importing illegal immigrants to the u.s. ♪ it is the washington journal, two notes keep in mind. the active attorney general fired by the trump administration. michaelspeak with -- flynn, the hearing at 2:30 p.m. on c-span. and that of richmond virginia today, the president's travel plan gets a hearing in the fourth circuit court of appeals. p.m.,l be live at 2:30 watch for that at c-span3. one of the more interesting storylines coming out of the french elect,